Blue Kansas Sky collects four powerful and beautifully written novellas (one previously unpublished) by one of science fiction's best writers, Michael Bishop, winner of the Nebula Award, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and the Locus Award.
The opening story is "Blue Kansas Sky," which is original to this volume, and may or may not be fantasy. The story line alternates between the coming-of-age of Sonny Peacock, fatherless child of the '50s and '60s, and the redemption of his ex-inmate uncle, Rory Peacock. Set in 1988, the World Fantasy Award-nominated "Apartheid, Superstrings, and Mordecai Thubana" examines South Africa's brutal institutionalized racism through the lens of a white Afrikaner who becomes a quantum-mechanical invisible man to members of his own race. In the Hugo and Sturgeon Award finalist "Cri de Coeur," three Earthly starships travel to the Epsilon Eridani star system, with disastrous results. In the Hugo and Nebula Award finalist "Death and Designation among the Asadi," an anthropologist comes to the planet BoskVeld to study an inexplicable alien race; he may be the first to unlock their secrets, or he may be going mad--or both. --Cynthia Ward
This volume brings four novellas by one of the pillars of literary sf in the 1970s and 1980s back in print. "Blue Kansas Sky" is an sf take on growing up in the Bible Belt. "Apartheid, Superstrings, and Mordecai Thubana" deals with South Africa under the bad old regime. "Cri de Coeur" is a classic insider versus outsider tale, and "Death and Designation among the Asadi" is one of the foundation stones of anthropological sf as well as of Bishop's career. Their appeal is definitely greatest to literary sf readers or scholars, but since most of them have disappeared into the bibliographical olla podrida that is the fate of most short sf, Golden Gryphon deserves favor for fishing them out so that they can reappear on the sf shelves. Unfortunately, James Morrow's introduction tells much more about him than about the stories, so go straight to them. Roland Green
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